Families thanked for opening homes
Updated: 2015-12-07 23:05
By Lia Zhu(China Daily USA)
Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan and his wife Qiao Li (center of the second row) give a reception on Saturday at their residence in San Francisco for 29 US families who adopted children from China, where the parents, over 30 children and the consulate staff as well as their families gathered together to celebrate their success of adoption. Provided to China Daily
Consul general in San Francisco appreciates caring adoptive parents
Since China opened its doors to overseas adoption of Chinese children in 1992, about 100,000 children have been taken in by US families. In the Bay Area, around 2,000 Chinese children are living in American households.
On Dec 5, Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan and his wife Qiao Li held a reception for 29 US families who adopted children from China, where the parents, more than 30 children and the consulate staff as well as their families gathered to celebrate the success of adoption.
During the annual event at the consul general's residence in San Francisco, Luo told the guests that as parents of a boy, he and his wife deeply understand the difficulties of raising a child and he thanked the American parents for their “enduring love and selfless devotion to the Chinese children, bringing them (in) with warmth and happiness”.
Among them is Alicia Johnson, 14, who was adopted at 11 months old by Gary Johnson, a director of corporate finance living in the Bay Area, and his wife. The couple also have a 27-year-old son.
"To me, adoption is all about the person who got loved inside, not the person we need outside," said Johnson. "The relationships that we build across the borders, across from the US to China, love will prevail.”
The couple also took Alicia on a cultural trip to China two years ago to help her connect with her roots. "I know it's important to learn about the culture and language," said Alicia, though she doesn't yet speak Chinese.
"A Chinese saying has it: 'Love knows no boundaries.' What the American parents have done is a living example of this Chinese saying. Their compassion and love have changed the Chinese children's lives," Qiao said.
Luo also sent the children a "special message": "You grow up speaking English, live in American families and have loving American parents. Yet your black eyes, black hair and dark skin all remind you that you are Chinese.
"I want to let you know that China, your country of birth, never forgets you and will always miss you and welcome you. This means you belong to two families, and the love you have is double," said Luo. "When you grow up, I hope you would support and care for your parents in the same way. I also hope you will develop the Chinese spirit you were born with and keep learning the Chinese language. In this way, you will build bridges of friendship between China and the US with a cross-cultural background."
According to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, about 550,000 orphans lived in China in 2013; 24,460 families adopted children; 3,230 of them overseas.
Of the overseas applicants willing to adopt Chinese children, the majority from the US.
Ken Yeung, founder of POP's Foundation, has helped more than 100 US families in the Bay Area adopt children from China since the early 1980s.
In 1994, he established the foundation with the goal of helping abandoned and disabled children in China. Ten years later, he set up an orphanage in China's Tianjin-Prince of Peace Children's Home with an investment of more than $1 million.
"The happiest thing for me is to see those abandoned children find a family, be brought up and have a bright future," he said. "At the end of this month, we will welcome another adopted Chinese child — a wheelchair-bound child — to a Bay Area family."